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May Music Blog

Dean Cutinelli here from the Colorado School of Music. Remember we are just a call away to start your private music lessons. We offer guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, piano lessons, drum lessons, violin lessons, vocal lessons as well orchestral instruments. Now on to our discussion about the minor scale.

The Minor Scale

In music theory, the term minor scale refers to three different scale formations.  The natural minor scale (or Aeolian mode), the harmonic minor scale, and the melodic minor scale. 

I will be discussing the  natural minor scale in this blog. The natural minor scale is a diatonic scale that is built by starting on the 6th degree of its relative major scale. A natural minor scale can be built by starting on the 6th degree of the C major scale. Your A natural minor scale would A, B, C, D, E, F,  and G. These are the same seven note that our in the relative major key of C. Because of this, the key of A minor is called the relative minor of C major. Every major key has a relative minor, which starts on the 6th scale degree and they share the same notes and chords. 

A natural minor scale can also be constructed by altering a major scale with accidentals. In this way, a natural minor scale is represented by the following notation:1, 2, ♭3, 4, 5, ♭6, ♭7, 8(Major scale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

The History

Western music from the Middle Ages until the late 19th century is based on the diatonic scale and the unique hierarchical relationships created by this system of organizing seven notes. There is evidence that the Sumerians and Babylonians used some version of the diatonic scale. 9,000-year-old flutes found in Jiahu, China indicate the evolution, over a period of 1,200 years, of flutes having 4, 5 and 6 holes to having 7 and 8 holes, the latter exhibiting striking similarity to diatonic hole spacings and sounds. 

By the beginning of the Baroque period, the notion of musical key was established, describing additional possible transpositions of the diatonic scale. Major and minor scales came to dominate until at least the start of the 20th century, partly because their intervallic patterns are suited to the reinforcement of a central triad.

Who Uses It

The minor scale provides a darker and more complex sound than the major Scale. The natural minor scale is used in many different musical genre. You can hear this scale in rock, pop, classical, jazz, metal and many other styles of music. 

Regardless if you play guitar, piano, saxophone, clarinet flute, or violin the minor scale  is a must know for all musicians. 

Please feel free to contact us to come in a learn all about the major  scale and anything else pertaining to music from one of our great instructor at the Colorado School of Music in Golden CO. 

Thanks for reading!

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